The Texas Department of Transportation is moving forward with plans to expand Highway 82 in Lamar County.
The agency released a 10-minute video presentation outlining the expansion and asked for public input, due by May 14.
“Once public comments and environmental reviews have been completed, they will be submitted for anticipated environmental clearance in the Summer of 2022,” said Daisy Orona with the Cox McLain Environmental Consulting team. “After final design is complete, the construction is anticipated to begin in summer of 2025.”
Plans to widen Highway 82 have been in the agency’s “to-do” list for a decade, if not longer, but finally are getting underway. In August 2020, TxDOT opened the first public comment meeting for the Lamar County portion of the widening project.
The proposed improvements include the widening of Highway 82 from a two-lane highway to a four-lane divided highway for a distance of approximately 16 miles, Orona said in her voiceover on the video.
“The proposed roadway from the Fannin County line to County Road 23900 west of Toco includes two 12-foot-wide travel lanes in each direction, a 10-foot-wide outside shoulder, and a 68-foot-wide depressed median,” she said. “From CR 23900 to Loop 286, the roadway includes two 12-foot-wide travel lanes in each direction, a 10-foot-wide outside shoulder and a 16-foot-wide continuous left turn lane. Within the City of Paris limits, a five-foot-wide sidewalk would be provided on the south side of US 82.”
The project’s plan calls for additional easements alongside the highway, and a map of the proposed roadway notes that 11 structures would be potentially displaced. The first two alternative plans would have displaced 29 or 34 structures initially, Orona said. After suggestions from the first public meeting, the agency chose a combination of widening to either the north or south to “minimized displacements and environmental impacts,” she said.
The video, along with maps of the proposed project, fact sheets and contact information for public input, are available on the website.
For information, visit https://tinyurl.com/czzn87jn, contact the Paris district office of TxDOT at 1363 N. Main St. or call 903-737-9282.